As you can see this novel is based on a true story. Pictured below are Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango. This is a fictional story based on the life of Virginia. The main character is called Virginia and we meet her as she is turning 7 years old. She lives with her family in an Andean village in Ecuador. She works in the fields all day with her family. They are called "longa tonga" or stupid Indians by the ruling class of mestizos - the Spanish descendants of the conquistadors Virginia at age of seven is taken by a mestizo couple to care for their baby and do the household chores. They live in a city a long way from Virginia's home village. The wife terrorises Virginia and often beats her mercilessly. The husband calls her his 'hija' or daughter. Virginia spends her first year plotting ways to run away but as time goes by she gets used to her life, she likes the baby she is raising and this couple lead her to believe her family do not want her.
Virginia's spirited self belief is amazing and she dreams of a different future. She demands to be taught to read and once she does she secretly reads all of the books in the house - including the books the wife is using as a Biology teacher in a high school. When she finally does have the courage to break free from this family Virginia's determination to make a life for herself leads her to hard work but great success.
Laura Resau's website promoting the book
Book trailer by a student at Hillsborough County Public Schools